WET FEET: With renovations just complete, Winsome Hotel staff and patrons watched anxiously as the rising flood water seeped in
WET FEET: With renovations just complete, Winsome Hotel staff and patrons watched anxiously as the rising flood water seeped in

Rising damp puts the drinks on hold

By RENEE REDMOND

ERIF Benham watched in disbelief yesterday morning as water gushed through the downstairs cellar of the Winsome Hotel.

The licensee said she had earlier called everyone she knew at 2am to help move stock which was stored in the cellar.

By 9am the water had started to move in and by 10am it was lapping at the bottom of the stairs.

"As long as the water doesn't rise to the top of the stairs we'll be alright," she said.

About $1.5 million was spent on the refurbishment of the hotel, which reopened last month.

At least 800 residents of North Lismore were told to evacuate their homes yesterday morning, but some refused to leave.

Bridge Street resident Gloria Payne said if things got bad, she would use her ladder to climb up into the ceiling.

Jill Ryan, also in Bridge Street, was home with her four dogs and said she would walk across the Fawcett Bridge if need be.

But Simone Walsh, 18, wasn't prepared to take any risks, with the welfare of her three-month-old daughter Ellycia Nilon.

"We're going to stay with family in Goonellabah until the river recedes," she said.

In Zadoc Street, owner of Lismore Hydroponics Peter Duffy was moving the last of his stock.

"We've shifted about 20 tonne of equipment," he said.

Across the street, Marcus Jessup, 28, was woken up by a neighbour who alerted him to the water creeping up his street.



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